One evening when our children were younger Allen had not arrived home yet from work for dinner. As I was waiting I remember thinking, "Why doesn't he just call me and let me know he's late?" As I was feeling frustrated I remembered hearing my thought "He doesn't care about my feelings." This verse and another on "Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" led me to examining whether the thought in my mind was a true statement or not. As I challenged my thoughts I realized just because Allen was late and didn't call me didn't mean he didn't care about me.
If I truly just accepted the thought that my husband didn't care about me then when he arrived home, I most likely would have been avoidant or angry and then behaved by withdrawing or criticism. However, if I transformed and renewed my mind then I might tell myself, "Just because Allen didn't call doesn't mean he doesn't care. I may feel hurt but the truth is he does care about me and love me. I have many other incidences where this has been demonstrated recently. There could be many other explanations for his behavior that I don't know about." With this kind of rational thinking then it impacts my emotions in a different way which then impacts my behavior to have more acceptance and grace when he walks in the door.
We may hold on to distorted thoughts or beliefs that impact the way we relate to our spouse. We may be thinking... "If my partner really loved me they would know what I need." "My partner should fill me up and make me happy or meet all my needs.” “My partner should never hurt me, or we shouldn't have conflicts or fights.” “My partner should trust me no matter what.” “My partner needs to change those weaknesses that are annoying me." Or “My partner should always desire me in lovemaking.” Thoughts, beliefs and expectations like these need to be examined, challenged and replaced with a more mature perspective.
This week ask God for the awareness and ability to capture your thoughts about your spouse and then examine them. Practice asking yourself questions such as "Is this true?" "What evidence do I have that this is truth?" "What are some other reasonable explanations?" And then observe if this changes your mood and behavior so you are responding as a loving adult.